Saturday, November 01, 2008

It seemed like a good idea at the time or - Coffee anyone?

Ever felt like changing subject when someone asks you about why the garden path ends in the neighbour’s fence or why the only view is blocked by a huge tent – a temporary arrangement, now in its fourth year? Cheer up, you are not alone. Lack of planning or “it didn’t really turn out the way I had expected it” is the theme song of my gardening life. One only needs to know how to handle it.

Three years ago I ordered a truckload of compost to fill up some of the borders and the vegetable garden. The day for delivery came. A huge truck turned up on the driveway.
- Where do you want it?
Ha! I had planned ahead! Compost is heavy. The garden is large. Solution: put it in a spot easy to reach and relatively central.
- There, I answered and pointed out a nice, flat spot. One of the very few flat sports in the garden to be exact.
And I was right, compost is heavy. It is very heavy indeed. Three years later, I have pushed wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow to every corner of the garden. Three years later more than half of the heap of compost still remains in its central spot. The well chosen central spot mind you… in plain view of everyone who enters or leaves the garden.
It was good compost to. Full of nice cosy nutritions for every seed in the neighbourhood. Result: We no longer only have a heap of soil. We have a green hill of thriving weed. Nice and central (read: blocking the best view in the garden). Visitors are generally to well mannered to ask but they can’t avoid looking a bit puzzled. And if the do ask the only answer there is is: “it seemed like a good idea at the time”.

Another example of "seemed like a good idea at the time" is the vegetable garden and its permanent dweller. The vegetable garden was planned right after we had bought the house and I had a vision not to have only vegetables in it. Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, to combine vegetables with, say, roses? Thought and action being one, a rose was bought and planted in the middle of the vegetable garden. It adjusted well. It grew. It thrived. It more than thrived. It sent its stems this way and that way and some in more creative directions. It grew more than 3 m the first year. That is 6 m in diameter. Now it became increasingly difficult to see some of the more timid vegetables and it was no longer possible to reach the further end of the vegetable garden without walking around it. Next year the rose grew even more. Forget secateurs. This bush was pruned with saw and pruning tools for a medium sized tree. Cut down to the ground it returned, more vital than ever. All old stems removed, they only returned as the heads of a hydra. An attempt was made to lead the stems into a double rose arch for support. The rose arch fell down and never quite regained its self-confidence.

It's just as well to accept defeat. This is a battle I will never win. The rose happily dominates its spot and I am enlarging the vegetable garden in order to actually fit in some vegetables to.
The comment: “that is one serous vegetable garden, you must really be a keen grower and what is that huge thing in the middle?” I try to ignore. If you look the other way and change subject you don’t have to answer, do you? And of course there is always the last resort: “Coffee anyone?”

4 comments:

Pusepilde said...

Hei Linn!
(Er det greit at jeg kommenterer på norsk selv om du skriver på engelsk?)

Takk for kommentar i bloggen min, da fant jeg den bloggen jeg hadde mistet :)

Det er interessant å følge med folk som kommer på besøk i min hage for første gang. Hva ser de, og hvor går de først?
Ser de alt ugresset og alt jeg gjør feil?
Jeg har også hatt en sentralt plassert haug freidig tilvokst av alle typer ugress i hele sommer. Den ar vært mitt mareritt og store irritasjon. Utrolig nok klarte jeg å gjøre haugen om til bed i løpet av høsten. Men hva som befinner seg litt lengre bort snakker vi ikke så mye om...;)

Hilsen fra nord
-Hilde

Cinj said...

I can totally relate to the "seemed like a good idea at the time" phenomenon. We've done that many times. It always seems to take SO much longer to do these tasks too, doesn't it?

vivh said...

So you have magic rose fingers, too? Your rose bush isn't so bad - you can eat the petals. If you were feeling industrious you could put them on top of cupcakes.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

First, thanks Lin for visiting my blog, and leaving such a nice comment.

And secondly, thanks for visiting because if you had not, I would never have known how much I like to read your blog!!! Consider me a new regular reader!
That rose bush sounds like it might just overtake the entire yard.
Jen